The new year always brings with it a sense of hope and promise, the drive to do better and be better. When it comes to making these “New Year’s Resolutions,” the majority of Americans have some health and fitness goal in mind, and the most common are losing weight. America has a well-documented problem with obesity, and one consequence is that the pharmaceutical market is flooded with weight-loss and diet medications. Many people consider adding these drugs to their fitness plan in hopes of losing more weight faster. But a cannabis diet, not diet pills, may be the best and safest way to boost efforts to lose weight in the new year.
A regimen of regular pot used, instead of alcohol and combined with a healthy diet and exercise, may be the most efficient weight loss program ever devised. In the 1990s, a diet pill debacle stunned the United States.
Fenfluramine/Phentermine, a combination of two potent uppers which occasionally had disastrous side effects, scandalized the Washington bureaucracy by revealing how industry pressure could fast track a drug’s approval against the public interest.
Working in combination, Fen and Phen induced the central nervous system to release elevated levels of serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine – a pharmacological flood emulating concurrent doses of meth, cocaine, and Ecstasy.
Here’s where marijuana comes in as a safer alternative to these dangerous diet pills. In the EU, a team of medical researchers at the University of Florida published a small study which seemed to turn cannabis science on its head.
Examining the charts of female adults who had been referred for obesity/weight management over a 12-month period, they found an apparent inverse correlation between Body Mass Index (BMI, a standard measure of obesity) and cannabis use.
In other words, the fatter the women examined, the less likely they were to be a regular pot smoker. Though relatively small in its sample size, the study nevertheless challenged commonly held stereotypes about “lazy stoners” eating all varieties of junk food.
But the most surprising results were still to come. In 2011, a French team examined the biometrics of over 50,000 individuals, looking for correlations between cannabis use and obesity. Their results are absorbing.
Even controlling for confounding factors such as age, sex, tobacco use and pregnancy, regular cannabis users were found to be up to a third less likely to be obese than nonusers. Taken together, the results of these studies suggest that marijuana users may be much thinner than the general population.